FA to remove stigma of being offside

FOOTBALLERS are being encouraged to open up about being offside.

For years, footballers have staunchly refused to confess that they are offside even when caught in an irrefutably offside position.

The Football Association has launched a campaign titled There’s No Bad Side that encourages players to discuss the taboo topic rather than resorting to excuses such as not interfering with play.

Liverpool striker Christian Benteke said:  “I’ve never been offside myself, but I’ve had friends who have and who may have scored important goals while visibly offside.

“It’s something that only gets discussed in whispers in a dark corner of the dressing room.”

Italian legend Pippo Inzaghi spent over a decade in an offside position prior to his retirement in 2012, but insisted that each and every one of the 15,000 free-kicks he conceded for the offence was in error.

The FA estimates that as many as one in three strikers are covertly occupying an offside position at any given time.

A player who wished to remain anonymous said: “I like being offside. I do it for the rush, but I live in fear of being caught in an offside trap – I have no idea how I’d explain that to my friends and family.”